Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Very Veggie Garden

Every year for a very long time now, I've grown a garden behind my house. No matter where I lived there was something there that I was tending. Flowers, vegetables, fruit or herbs, I was out in the sun each morning checking on seedlings or pruning and weeding larger plants. I didn't always have a bumper crop, but I always had something to tend to. 

Tiny little zucchini.

Now that I've moved (and last year was close to the end of the growing season and I had to leave my garden behind) the yard is not so big and quite weedy. I also haven't had the time to devote to a full garden. I did have a large seed tray filled with plants, but when the time came to plant (and I was in the middle of that) my mother needed me to help during a brief illness and the planting window opened and closed quickly.

Tomato flowers ... soon-to-be-tomatoes!

No matter, there's no way I wouldn't have something growing, and I did get zucchini, green beans and tomatoes in the ground. The green bean leaves were eaten by the cutest bunny ever, so they were doomed from the start. Sad to me, because it's the one thing I've always been able to grow without issue.

A whole lotta mint!

The zucchini are starting and the tomatoes just now blooming. I'm happy with that. I lost some herbs to the recent heat, as well, but learning the new sun location has taken me a little time and if I'm here next year, I'll know better. I also have a bumper crop of wild mint and purslane is creeping everywhere! If you don't know about purslane, please do have a look here for more information - it's not just a weed!

Purslane creeping across the concrete walk.

Over the years, though, I've grown many things and I always had a little companion with me to check growth, pull weeds and harvest when the time was right. My kids love to get into the dirt (sometimes in a not-so-helpful way) and pick vegetables from the garden. And, because of their love for gardening, they also love to eat veggies.

Purslane closeup.

It's not really so hard to get kids to eat their veggies when you involve them from the ground up. They're proud of their accomplishment and really want to see if what they grew tastes like what they've only seen on shelves at the store.

This is in line with Country Crock's message that vegetables are delicious and shouldn't be hidden. I believe the same. Hiding veggies in recipes by pureeing or overcooking not only takes much of the nutritional value away, but doesn't really teach children to enjoy vegetables, setting them up for a lifetime of issues. They won't always have someone who will be willing to hide their veggies for them.

Make veggies the star - have a veggie tasting party with your kids - let kids take turns picking out vegetables at the store for meal time, or do what we do - Grow Your Own! Even if you don't have a yard, many vegetables can be grown in containers and kids love to watch things grow. Give it a try and see if you don't have not only budding gardeners on your hands, but veggie lovers, as well.

Before you go, check out The Country Crock Chronicle for more veggie tips and recipes!

*Disclosure: My posts for Country Crock are sponsored, compensated and/or reimbursed by Country Crock and Unilever. As such, all content and opinions are required to be honest and belonging wholly to myself.

1 comment:

PG said...

Interesting about the purslane. The first picture of it you have looks a lot like a new weed in my garden -- haven't seen it in previous years. Not sure that I'm comfortable enough to say that it definitely is purslane and eat it. But, it's nice to be able to identify what it might be...